By Crocker Staff on Stacey Shelnut-Hendrick

The Crocker’s education department serves more than 60,000 people each year through key education initiatives and tools like the Art Ark, our Museum on wheels; programs for babies and toddlers; studio art classes; and Block by Block, a community arts engagement initiative. Stacey and her team of education experts are behind it all.

Born in New York City, Stacey saw the strains and challenges of socio-economic and cultural divides as a child. But family visits to museums, which were inexpensive or free, were the great equalizer. “My mother would take me and many of the neighborhood kids to museums and cultural events to make sure we understood that the world was bigger than our block,” she recalls.

Stacey’s ah-ha moment came when she was 15, and it set the course for a lifetime of art, learning, and leadership. Standing in front of Van Gogh’s The Potato Eaters, she “felt the desperation of poverty. Through a painting that was 100 years old, my naïve teenage brain ‘got it.’ I realized the power of art.”

Pictured: Vincent van Gogh, The Potato Eaters, 1885. Oil on canvas, 32.3 in × 44.9 in. Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam.

At the end of her sophomore year at Utica College at Syracuse University, Stacey took an internship at the New York State Museum and fell hopelessly in love with museums. She finished her degree early and returned to the institution for a year-long fellowship.

Since then, Stacey has held education positions at the Studio Museum in Harlem, the Brooklyn Children’s Museum, the Baltimore Museum of Art, and was the executive director of the Flag House and Star-Spangled Banner Museum. She has actually worked at the Crocker twice. She says, “Our CEO, Lial Jones, has been tremendously supportive of me and she shares my belief that museums need to be community connectors. Without her leadership, the education team’s passion and commitment, and our amazing docents and volunteers, there would be no award.”

Emancipation Jubilee, 2013, Crocker Art Museum. Photo courtesy of Fatima Abdel-Gwad.

Along with overseeing the education department, Stacey has served as a member of the For Arts Sake leadership team, Any Given Child steering committee, the board of the California Association of Museums, and the California Department of Education’s art education task force. Stacey is a graduate of the Nehemiah Emerging Leaders Program and is currently on the boards of Celebration Arts and Girl Scouts Heart of Central California.

Our heartfelt congratulations to Stacey on her award!

We look forward to welcoming you at our upcoming tours, talks, performances, classes, and programs.

Top Image: Stacey Shelnut-Hendrick

Stacey Shelnut-Hendrick is a respected museum professional with more than 20 years of experience in arts education. Before re-joining the Crocker, she served as Executive Director of The Star-Spangled Banner Flag House in Baltimore, Maryland from 2004 – 2008. Stacey’s wealth of knowledge and wide range of art-related educational experiences have also been gained from tenures at the New York State Museum, the Baltimore Museum of Art, the Brooklyn Children’s Museum, and the Studio Museum in Harlem. Stacey received her MS in Museum Education at New York’s Bank Street College of Education. She is also a graduate of the Getty Museum’s Management Institute and co-author of School’s Out…Kids In: Developing an Education-Based After-School Program.